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Pyramids in Africa

Egypt is usually the first country that comes to mind when the word “pyramid” is mentioned. Few people know that pyramids are also found in several other countries in Africa. Of course, many civilizations in other parts of the world also built pyramids including the Aztecs, Native Americans and the Mayans.

There are three pyramid sites in Sudan totaling approximately 220 pyramids. They are often referred to as the Nubian Pyramids or the Pyramids of Kush. They were built to serve as tombs for the kings and queens of Meroe, Kerma and Napata, which were the capitals of the three Kushite kingdoms. The differ from the Egyptian pyramids in that they are constructed at a steeper angle as shown in the picture. They are believed to have been built as late as 300 AD.

The Nsude pyramids of Nigeria were constructed by the Igbo people in Ugwu Uto village. They were built of clay and mud as a temple to the god Ala/Uto. They are made of circular stacks with a stick placed at the top to represent the residence of the god. The location of the pyramids was sacred and they were often used as a meeting point when sensitive matters were to be discussed. The pyramids were erected on the highest hill in the area and were used for surveillance, the Nsude being great warriors and often hired to fight for other clans or tribes.


Sudan pyramids at Meroe

Pyramids at Meroe in Sudan


Nsude Pyramids in Nigeria


about the author

I have been fortunate enough to live in different countries in Africa, and I take every opportunity to visit more. The countries I have been to include Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya. Cultures are unique in each country and I love the artwork in each country. Of course I love my continent too and I try to educate others about it through art.

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